by the Admiralty to vessels of the kind. In addition, the vessels, from the fact of their speed and from the shortening of the time of their transit, would inevitably secure a considerable amount of extra postage on letters that are now forwarded by other routes; and, altogether, it is held to be more than a probable contingency that the entire subsidy asked for might be made available from the two sources that have been mentioned.

12. The belief is confidently entertained also, that if Her Majesty's Government come to the assistance of the scheme, and a satisfactory Atlantic service is established, it will induce the Governments of Australasia to come forward with substantial aid to enable the Pacific portion of the service to be made more frequent and more effectual than it is at present. It should be mentioned, however, that while the Atlantic and the Pacific services form parts of the new route, they are regarded at present as being more or less separate in regard to their organisation ; but, at the same time, there is little doubt that the provision of a fast Atlantic service would very soon lead to the completion of the Pacific service on the basis originally proposed.

13. I feel that I need say no more to commend the proposal to your favourable consideration. Canada has shown the importance that it attaches to the service by the contribution that has been promised, in addition to the aid already given to the Japan, China and Australasian lines. The proceedings of the Ottawa Conference demonstrate the high importance with which the new route is

regarded in the different parts of the Empire, and the report of the Earl of Jersey is convincing as to the advantages that must follow from its establishment, viewed either from the commercial or political standpoint. In my judgment it is bound to have results of a very satisfactory nature, not only in adding to the strength of the Empire, but in developing its trade and commerce.

In view of all these considerations, I venture to hope that the proposition I have submitted to you may be regarded favourably by Her Majesty's Government, and that it may have the benefit of your powerful support. I have the honour to be, Sir, your most obedient servant,



Colonial Office, Downing Street,

IIth November, 1895. SIR, -A proposal was recently made that a deputation of the Agents-General for the Australasian Colonies and the High Commissioner for Canada should wait upon the Secretary of State for the Colonies with the view of discussing the question of the Pacific cable ; but it was arranged at the beginning of September that, having regard to the meeting of Parliament and the consequent pressure of business, the interview should be deferred to a more convenient season.

Since then the position of the matter has been materially affected by the grant by the Hawaiian

[ocr errors]

Government to Colonel L. S. Spalding, subject to certain conditions, of an exclusive franchise for twenty years to lay cables for commercial purposes. It is reported that Colonel Spalding, on obtaining this concession, entered into negotiations having for their object the continuance to Honolulu of the cable laid by a French association between New Caledonia and Queensland. If the whole project thus contemplated is carried through, San Francisco, or some other point in the United States territory, will be placed in direct communication with Australasia, and it need hardly be observed that in that case the position of the British project from the financial point of view would be very prejudicially affected.

It seems, therefore, to Mr. Chamberlain to be highly desirable that no further time should be lost in considering the subject, and that some open step should be taken which will disabuse foreign promoters of the idea that no competition is to be feared from a British line, as recommended last year by the Ottawa Conference.

For this purpose Mr. Chamberlain would suggest that the proposed interview should take place at an early date this month.

If it then appears that there is a sufficient body of opinion in favour of considering the terms on which united action could be taken, Mr. Chamberlain would be glad to co-operate in the appointment of a joint commission, or to lend his assistance in any other way which may seem best.-I am, Sir, your most obedient servant,


Colonial Office,

November 13th, 1895. DEAR SIR CHARLES TUPPER, I am desired by Mr. Chamberlain to say that Tuesday, November 19th, at 12.30 will suit him to see you and your colleagues on the cable question, if that day and hour are convenient to the Agents-General.

I write at once, without waiting for your proposed visit at 5 p.m. this afternoon, as you may probably wish to make early arrangements for the interview.-Yours very truly,

(Sgd.) H. F. WILSON.

17 Victoria Street, London, S.W.,

15th November, 1895. SIR,—Acting under your instructions to give Mr. Huddart all possible assistance with the Imperial Government in regard to the fast Atlantic Service, I took an opportunity immediately on the return of Mr. Chamberlain to office after the elections on July 30th last, to call upon him at the Colonial Office, when I was able to go fully into the questions of the Fast Atlantic Service and Pacific Cable from Vancouver to Australasia.

He seemed much interested in these questions, and at his request I addressed him a letter, dated 31st July, especially with reference to the Fast Atlantic Service, of which I sent you a copy. Mr. Chamberlain wrote me a note in reply stating that he would take the subject up promptly, and hoped on his return to London after his holidays to be able to make substantial progress.

I received a short letter from him, dated Granada, October 31st,” in which he says:

“Before I left I put forward the matters of the Fast Atlantic Service and the Pacific Cable. As soon as I return I must have a conference with you on these and other points, and I know that I can count at all times on your cordial co-operation in all that concerns the joint interests of the Colonies and the Mother Country.”

I had the pleasure of sitting next to Mr. Chamberlain at a dinner given by the AgentGeneral for Natal on the 6th instant, and in response to the invitation of Mr. Peace, I proposed the toast of the evening, which was,

“ The Right Hon. Joseph Chamberlain, Secretary of State for the Colonies." I took occasion to point out the great opportunity for statesmanship presented at the present moment in connection with the expansion of Greater Britain, and the satisfaction with which I and all my colleagues in London had welcomed his advent to the Colonial Office, in the full belief that under the auspices of the Right Honourable gentleman the colonies would reap the advantage of possessing a strong Minister of a strong Government. I enclose herewith an outline of a report of my speech, as well as of Mr. Chamberlain's reply.

On the 13th instant Mr. Chamberlain favoured me with a long interview at the Colonial Office, when he gave me an assurance that Her Majesty's Government had decided to take up the question of the Fast Atlantic Service, and also to deal vigorously with the prosecution of the Pacific Cable project, at the same time requesting me to invite the Agents-General to wait upon him in regard to the latter question on Tuesday next. He inti

« ForrigeFortsett »